free house

Free House – The Tisdale House in New Bern to Be Moved – Update

OHU50K Notes – Free House to be Moved

Thanks to Matthew for submitting this free house. The Tisdale House, located at 1312 Broad Street in New Bern, North Carolina, was built in the early 1900’s when the area was farmland outside of the city limits. Like the children’s book, The Little House, by Virginia Lee Burton, after more than 100 years later, New Bern has grown up around the Tisdale House. The three-story home currently is plunked in a strip of commercial businesses on a lot scheduled for a new recreation center.

Update: OHU50K originally posted this in June when interested parties needed to already have ownership of a lot on which to move the house. Per WITN News, “But with the house still unsold, city officials recently proposed moving the house to a city-owned lot on Rhem Avenue, and reopened the opportunity for proposals last week. The new owner would purchase the lot and be responsible for all expenses involved with moving the house.”

Proposals are due Monday, November 21, and if none happen then demolition will have to be considered. City officials say demo is the last resort, however, and they will attempt all other options in order to save the grand old lady.

free house


The City of New Bern is offering the this free house to a new owner, but the house needs to be moved. All expenses involved with the relocation of the house are the responsibility of the new owner. Below are the requirements that need to be met before submitting your proposal. Call 252-639-2701 with any questions.

Proposals must include the following:

– A general description on why you are interested in the house and what your plans are to remodel.

– Proposed location of where the house would be relocated to.

– Estimates from qualified movers on the cost to move the structure to the new location.


A Performance Bond, a Letter of Credit to the New Bern Preservation Foundation or a bank check from a recognized bank made out to the New Bern Preservation Foundation is required to cover the full relocation cost of the house.

Proposals are due to the New Bern Preservation Foundation by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.

Email proposals to [email protected].

Family History

The Tisdale family was one of the founding pioneers in New Bern, having settled there before 1800. Don’t blame the messenger, but in 1800, Col. Nathan Tisdale owned eight slaves. Of course, this free house wasn’t built by Nathan’s grandson, George Tisdale, until almost a hundred years later. Lieut. George F. Tisdale (1838-1913) served in the Confederate army during the US Civil War. He was a watchmaker by trade and married Elizabeth Anderson (1852-1910) in 1892, after which the couple built this house.

After the death of George (reported as “senile exhaustion”), Edward Carter Tisdale (1888-1962) inherited the house. I believe he was a nephew of George. Carter, as he was known, owned a florist company, and married his much younger wife, Nellie Perkins (1903-1979), in 1929. The couple had three daughters, Sarah, Nellie and Mary.


Carter Tisdale


Nellie Perkins Tisdale


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